The Bibbulmun Track is a long distance hiking route in Western Australia, named after the Bibbulmun Noongar, an aboriginal tribe that walked long distances for ceremonies.
Stretching for a 1000 kilometres from Kalamunda, near Perth, to the historic town of Albany, this epic trail leads through some areas of outstanding natural beauty.
You won’t see crowds of hikers on the Bibbulmun Track despite it being so well-known. This makes it a great hike if you like quiet trails, and want to escape and immerse yourself in nature.
- A range of ecological habitats, over 22 national parks and reserves
- Forests with some of the tallest growing species of gum tree
- Waterfalls, rivers and natural pools
- Beaches, sand dunes and heathland
- Rural communities and small towns
The Bibbulmun Track begins in Kalamunda and the first stage takes you through the Darling Range to the town of Dwellingup.
There is plenty for those who want to explore the area on day hikes. There are also many access points and campsites are just a few kilometres apart.
Other rural towns along the track are: Collie, Balingup, Pemberton, Northcliffe, Walpole, Denmark and Albany.
Here you can stock up on supplies before hiking the next stage of the trail, have a rest day, or enjoy more luxurious accommodation if you need a break from camping.
The Bibbulmun Track has many access points, making ideal to walk in sections.
However, it is not possible to walk each part consecutively as day hikes. Some sections do not have access points for four days of walking, while the longest distance between towns is 12 days.
With 22 national parks, the Bibbulmun Track offers a wealth of diverse habitats and environments, such as Jarrah, Marri and Wandoo forests that are only found in the West of Australia.
In the south, there are Tingle and Karri forests where some of the tallest trees in the world grow.
The route has camping facilities within walking distance of one another. They are closer together in the north, so it is possible to skip one campsite and head to the next. In the south the distances are longer, up to 25 kilometres between each campsite.
From the track towns, you can arrange to have food drops placed ahead of you on the trail.
The nearest international airport to the northern side of the track is at Perth.
The northern trailhead is at Kalamunda, a distance of 24 kilometres east of Perth. Bus services run to Kalamuda from Perth.
The southern trailhead is near to the Albany Visitors Centre, 418 kilometres south of Perth. Albany has an airport, and buses are available to the trailhead.
At 1000 kilometres, hiking the length of the Bibbulmun Track is a challenge for any hiker.
It takes approximately 8-10 weeks to complete the route, allowing for a few rest days and side trips.
If you average 20 kilometres per day, you would finish the trail in 50 days.
As most of this track can be hiked in stages, there is something to suit any level of ability.
Grade and difficulty of the walk
This walk is graded at 2-3-4/5.
Due to the length of this track, you can expect to find a variety of terrain. Some areas are challenging with long steep climbs, while others are on easy, flat ground.
What makes the Bibbulmun Track so special, is that there are parts that everyone can enjoy. If you are unsure of you fitness levels, you can choose short hikes of just a kilometre. Or, you can do day hikes, or short multiday hikes.
If you like to challenge yourself, go for longer multiday hikes on the steeper terrain, or go for a through hike from start to finish!
If you plan to do the Bibbulmun Track as a through hike from start to finish, you should have experience of multi-day hiking and camping, as this will help your body be accustomed to the demands of being on the trail.
If you are walking preferred parts of the trail, you do not need any particular hiking experience. Those of average levels of fitness will be able to hike the terrain and enjoy the trail.
No permit is need to hike the Bibbulmun Track. The campsites are also free, but other campsite fees may apply off the track.
Guided or Self-Guided
As the trail is well-marked, there is no need to have a guide for navigational reasons.
The trail signs are Rainbow Serpents on a triangle, and these are spaced at least every 500 metres apart.
Having a map with you is recommended, as this will give you a better overview of your surroundings and enhance your experience.
If you are a lone hiker who likes company, or want to benefit from local knowledge, a guided hike is worthwhile.
You may like to go with a guided tour for just some stages of the trail and hike others independently.
Tour companies can -arrange to transfer your baggage between overnight accommodations, so you can just have a day pack and enjoy the trail.
Spring, autumn and winter are the best times to hike the Bibbulmun Track.
Spring is from September to mid-November. This is the time of year when the wildflowers begin to bloom, and there is a flush of new growth.
Autumn is during the months of April and May, and this is when the landscape and forests gain the colours of the season.
Winter is the coolest time of year to hike the track, and runs from June to August. While temperatures during the day are usually pleasant for hiking, it can get cold at night especially in the northern half of the track.
In summer, mid-November to April, the temperatures can be too hot to hike long distances. There may also be a risk of bush fires. Some parts of the track may be closed. If you do want to hike in summer, choose cooler days for day hikes, check the fire situation before you go, and take plenty of water.
A typical itinerary would be:
The Bibbulmun Track can be divided into nine distinct stages that go from town to town. There are many campsites within walking distance from one another on each stage.
Kalamunda to Dwellingup – 211.1 kilometres
Dwellingup to Collie – 130.5 kilometres
Collie to Balingup – 85.7 kilometres
Balingup to Donnelly River Village – 58.1 kilometres
Donnelly River Village to Pemberton – 108.6 kilometres
Note: hikers need to carry enough food for 5 days on this stage.
Pemberton to Northcliffe – 59.2 kilometres
Northcliffe to Walpole – 141.4 kilometres
The remotest area of the track. Expect to walk for 8 days with no settlements.
Walpole to Denmark – 126 kilometres
Denmark to Albany – 84.7 kilometres
There are 49 campsites along the route, and they are located are every few hours walk along the track. Most offer three-sided sleeping shelters as well as tent pitches, toilet facilities and water tanks. Water should be purified before drinking.
There is no booking required to use the campsite facilities. It is a good idea to take a small tent, as shelters may be full on arrival.
Wild camping is not permitted along the trail, unless you stay outside of a water catchment area. However, as the campsites are situated fairly close to one another, there is not any need to wild camp.
If you prefer a little more comfort, you will find a range of accommodation in the towns.
Have a refreshing swim in the natural pool of the Murray River at Dwellingup.
South of the town of Collie, there is an option to hike the Bibbulmun Wellington Spur. This is a side trail that goes to Wellington Dam.
Enjoy the magic of the forests. The Karri forests are where the second tallest flowering gum trees in the world grow.
Challenge your hiking skills on the tough, hilly terrain near Donnelly River.
Visit the popular Gloucester Tree at Pemberton. This giant Karri tree is a fire lookout post, and visitors can climb 61 metres to a platform near the top!
See what life is like in the Tingle tree canopy by walking the Valley of the Giants Treetop Walk.
The diverse habitats bring many wild plants and flowers, as well as wildlife. You may see kangaroos, a wide range of birds in the forests, and reptiles
If you hike between June and October, you may spot whales in the Southern Ocean.
Other popular tourist spots on the Bibbulmun Track are Mundaring Weir and Mandalay Beach. You might want to factor in some rest days to make the most of these sites.
|Skills Required||Hiking, Walking|
|Difficulty||2/5 - 4/5|
|Starts at||Perth WA, Australia|
|Finishes at||Albany WA 6330, Australia|
|Length of route||1003 Km|
|Average time to complete||56 - 70 Days|
|Possible to complete sub-sections||Yes|
|Highest point||571 metres|
|Equipment needed||Camping equipment, food supplies, Poles if preferred, Trekking gear, walking boots, Water Supplies|